Athletes abide by superstitions to further their success

Athletes and athletic teams are known for being superstitious. Although a team’s success is attributed to practicing and training constantly, players and coaches cling to superstitions as part of the equation to winning.

You have seen this in professional sports. Whether it would be Michael Jordan wearing his North Carolina shorts under his uniform every game or even as weird as the famous baseball player Wade Boggs eating a chicken before every game, superstitions hold true for individuals.

The CSUN women’s soccer team may attest to this as they are coming off an impressive season finishing as the 2016 Big West conference league champions.

The soccer team has many superstitions they find themselves holding onto, as well as some individual ones.

Former CSUN goalie Cynthia Jacobo, is now the new lady Matadors goalkeeeper entering her second season. Jacobo arrived at CSUN midway through her freshman year for the 2009 season. She earned All-Big West honors in all three of her playing seasons, including Big West Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011.

As far as superstitions go, she believes sticking to them is why the Matadors have been sustaining success. Jacobo shared some history about one superstition which has been with the Matadors for years.

“The starters, and the girls who are on the bench will stand behind each other holding hands for the national anthem,” Jacobo said. “They link arms while they kick there right foot back against their teammate’s shin guard and once it is at the end, the end person will begin the same trend working its way back up to where the chain started.”

Individual traditions are also a large part of the women’s team as well.

Sophomore midfielder Gabriella Hinojosa, shared how she always has to write a Bible verse, Psalm 46:5, on her right arm or she feels she will not play well in a game.

“It was a crazy experience rushing to find our athletic trainer Matt Brandt, to have him give me a sharpie before we started warming up against University of San Diego.” Hinojosa said. “In that moment it totally slipped my mind to write my verse on my arm, I felt as if I couldn’t function once I realized I forgot to write it.”

Freshman midfielder, Payton Jo Armijo, said team members who share an apartment do a little ritual before each game. Whether that would be huddle up and do a handshake, or get your group together and do a certain dance.

“We just want to have fun with it,” Payton said.

Entering the upcoming Big West conference games, the Matadors may need all the superstitions to keep them as close as they can be to defend their title once again.